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  • Author: Matthias Basedau, Michael Wahman
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Building on theoretical insights from research on the rentier state and the “resource curse,” several studies have supported the argument that oil hinders democracy. However, previous research on the rentier state has neglected the global surge of multiparty autocracies or “electoral authoritarian” regimes since the end of the Cold War. No systematic study has been carried out on the question of whether or not and how oil affects electoral contests in nondemocratic regimes. In this paper we contribute to filling this gap by combing the literature on multiparty autocracy and the political economy of the rentier state. As oil production creates substantial, nontransparent revenue streams to national and subnational governments, we hypothesize that oil production has a negative effect on electoral competitiveness, both cross‐ and subnationally, in multiparty autocracies. Consequently, the democratic “resource curse” emphasized in earlier work on the rentier state is likely to persist even after the introduction of multipartyism in cases where oil production predates democratic institutions. The paper tests the hypothesis cross‐nationally, using data on all multiparty elections held in the world in the period 1975–2010, and subnationally, using a new data set on subnational election results and oil production in Nigeria. Our results confirm that oil impedes electoral competitiveness, both cross‐ and subnationally, in multiparty autocracies.
  • Topic: Cold War, Democratization, Oil
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Marina Dodlova, Anna Giolbas
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The debate on whether democracy and inequality increase the level of redistribution in a country is still ongoing. We construct a model that predicts a higher probability of redistribution in democracies than in autocracies. Further, with higher initial inequality, there should be more redistribution in democracies but not necessarily in autocracies. We test these predictions using data on social transfers in developing countries for the period 1960–2010. We confirm that democracy increases redistribution and, to some extent, that there is more redistribution with rising inequality. Hence, on the basis of a direct measure of redistribution, we present evidence to confirm the median voter theorem.
  • Topic: Democratization, Social Stratification, Authoritarianism
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The analysis using the new Regime Legitimation Expert Survey (RLES) demonstrates that non‐democratic rulers in post‐Soviet countries use specific combinations of legitimating claims to stay in power. Most notably, rulers claim to be the guardians of citizens’ socio‐ economic well‐being. Second, despite recurrent infringements on political and civil rights, they maintain that their power is rule‐based and embodies the will of the people, as they have been given popular electoral mandates. Third, they couple these elements with input‐based legitimation strategies that focus on nationalist ideologies, the personal capabilities and charismatic aura of the rulers, and the regime’s foundational myth. Overall, the reliance on these input‐based strategies is lower in the western post‐Soviet Eurasian countries and very pronounced among the authoritarian rulers of Central Asia.
  • Topic: Democratization, Authoritarianism, Political Activism
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe
  • Author: Mariana Llanos, Alexander Stroh, Cordula Tibi Weber, Charlotte Heyl
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper assesses the extent to which elected power holders informally intervene in the judiciaries of new democracies, an acknowledged but under-researched topic in studies of judicial politics. The paper first develops an empirical strategy for the study of informal interference based on perceptions recorded in interviews, then applies the strategy to six third-wave democracies, three in Africa (Benin, Madagascar and Senegal) and three in Latin America (Argentina, Chile and Paraguay). It also examines how three conditioning factors affect the level of informal judicial interference: formal rules, previous democratic experience, and socioeconomic development. Our results show that countries with better performance in all these conditioning factors exhibit less informal interference than countries with poorer or mixed performance. The results stress the importance of systematically including informal politics in the study of judicial politics.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Power Politics, Law
  • Political Geography: Africa, Argentina, Latin America, Tamil Nadu
  • Author: Brian M. Faughnan, Jonathan T. Hiskey, Scott D. Revey
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Politics in Latin America
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Scholars of the world's most recent democratization processes have tended to focus on how national-level institutions have developed and how citizens have interpreted and responded to those developments. In this paper, we argue that the distinct subnational political environments that emerge from uneven national regime transitions are important determinants of how people view their political world. Specifically, we argue that citizens' experiences with and attitudes towards corruption are particularly influenced by the subnational political context in which those citizens live. We use survey data from across Mexico to test our theoretical expectations that a multi-party electoral context will heighten citizens' awareness of corruption as a governance issue, even as their chances of being victimized by corrupt behavior is reduced. Conversely, we posit that one-party electoral environments should facilitate a "business as usual" attitude toward corruption among government officials and citizens. As efforts to deepen democracy and improve governance continue across the developing world, our findings highlight the need to incorporate subnational political processes into efforts to under- stand and address such critical issues as corruption and its consequences.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Mexico
  • Author: Giulia Piccolino
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Drawing on the history of statebuilding in Western Europe, fiscal sociology has proposed the existence of a mutually reinforcing effect between the emergence of representative government and effective taxation. This paper looks at the case of Benin, a low-income West African country that underwent a fairly successful democratization process in the early 1990s. It finds, in contrast to previous studies that have emphasized dependency on aid rents, that Benin appears to have reinforced its extractive capacities since democratization. However, the effect of democratization has been largely indirect, while other factors, such as the influence of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and the size of the country's informal sector, have played a more direct role in encouraging or inhibiting tax extraction. Nevertheless, the hypothesis that effective taxation depends on a quasiconsensual relationship between government and taxpayers finds some confirmation in the Beninese case.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Europe, West Africa